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Re: [ujeni] Our trip to Malawi

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  • Jesse Johnson
    Excellent Dan, best thing I ve read in a long while. It s so nice to think of Malawi in a positive way. Wish I could have been there too. Thanks for taking the
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 24, 2007
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      Excellent Dan, best thing I've read in a long while. It's so nice to
      think of Malawi in a positive way. Wish I could have been there too.
      Thanks for taking the time to write it.

      Jesse


      Daniel Dudley wrote:
      >
      > I just returned from Malawi yesterday where my wife and I took 10
      > students and 1 documentary film maker. In short, it was a great trip,
      > the students were wonderful, and it was great to be back in Malawi. I
      > was surprised with how quickly I fit into the pace of life in Malawi.
      > I didn't miss checking my email, TV or any of the other hundreds of
      > distractions that normally consume my day including all of the daily
      > reminders of the war in Iraq. It was nice to be in a place where no
      > one seemed to know that there was such a thing going on, they had more
      > important things to worry about.
      >
      > Some of the things that surprised me. We didn't make it to too many
      > places in Malawi, the work in the village was our priority, but we did
      > get to do some sight seeing. Lilongwe was really clean from what I
      > remember of it. The street vendors are off of the street and into the
      > markets, you can actually walk down the sidewalk, what a concept.
      > Because they were not on the streets, in general I felt much safer
      > walking down the streets. We did however, have our cell phones
      > attempted to be stolen out of the car we borrowed, the thief was
      > caught, and it was pretty bloody, but there was a police man on the
      > scene that limited the damage. Most of his problems came from
      > trying to get over a wall with glass on the top. The police presence
      > around the city was much more visible, on the way to the airport,
      > there seemed to be 4 police on nearly every corner of Kamuzu
      > Procession. The place that I felt least safe was in the bus depot
      > area. The mini bus population has exploded, they just seem to be
      > everywhere, and the people around the bus stage seemed to be more
      > aggresisve that I remember. The car population in general seemed to
      > explode, there seemed to be many more cars on the road than I remember.
      >
      > I remember when I went to Zimbabwe in 96, after being in Malawi, I
      > realized some of the things that I missed like the occasional fast
      > food, decent pastry, good pizza, etc. It just seemed that Lilongwe
      > didn't have any of that. Now it does have some of what Zimbabwe
      > had. At the top of the hill leading out of old-town, right near the
      > Mchinji roundabout there is a shopping center with all of the above
      > and more, across the street is an internet cafe. Down the hill near
      > the Nico plaza where there was a hyperstore, there is another shopping
      > plaza with a shoprite grocery store and Nandos. PTC is now called
      > "Peoples", the Kandodo doesn't exist any more. There are a lot more
      > Asian shops, but I would like to say something about the Asian
      > population. I remember when I was there, we had a pretty negative
      > view of the Asians, I am sure that they like their profits as much as
      > ever, but they were the most helpful in giving us big discounts on all
      > of the supplies that I needed. When they heard that something was for
      > a school or health clinic, they often donated supplies for us to use.
      > At the health clinic in the village, we looked through the maternity
      > ward and the beds were completely unbearable for someone healthy, let
      > alone someone about to give birth. We decided to see what we could do
      > to fix that, I went to one Asian shop and he gave us 12 6-inch
      > mattresses for only MK100 profit, I was amazed.
      >
      > I would like to say something about the villagers. I think that I
      > remember that a lot of us were frustrated by Malawians expecting us to
      > do everything and they participate very little. This village was
      > quite different. I thought that we would be painting the classrooms
      > by our selves, but villagers showed up from all over to help out, we
      > provided the cement to re-plaster the walls, women brought piles of
      > sand in from all over before school started and the villagers did the
      > work of plastering the walls. I was truly amazed and inspired by all
      > of the help of the community, and I think that they really appreciated
      > that we are a small school in Arizona, not some huge NGO with lots of
      > money.
      >
      > I was also really impressed with our students, I had to drag them out
      > of the village, we were there for 5 days and completed everything that
      > I hoped to but they wanted to stay longer. They were happy with beans
      > and nsima, and rice phala for breakfast. They all slept on the floor
      > of Gertrude's uncle's very small living room and never complained, in
      > fact they seemed to enjoy it. Some girls were particularly tasty for
      > mosquitoes, but even they didn't complain. On a couple of mornings
      > they had to get up early to get to the school to paint before the
      > students arrived so that they didn't interrupt their classes. They
      > were up, out, finished and back before breakfast was served, and then
      > straight back to work on another project. A couple of them said that
      > they were going to join the Peace Corps after college as a result
      > of being on this trip.
      >
      > All in all, the trip was a huge success, and it was so nice to be in
      > Malawi again.
      >
      > Dan
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > It’s tax season, make sure to follow these few simple tips Check it
      > out!
      > <http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Taxes/PreparationTips/PreparationTips.aspx?icid=WLMartagline>
      >
      >
    • Elizabeth Bell
      Dan, it was so great to see your update this morning, I would love to see any pictures you would care to post. Thanks again for your impressions and thoughts.
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 24, 2007
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        Re: [ujeni] Our trip to Malawi Dan, it was so great to see your update this morning, I would love to see any pictures you would care to post.

        Thanks again for your impressions and thoughts.  Despite my current life as a suburbanite stay-at-home-mother of three (we even caved and bought a minivan when our third boy was born in January - Dave feels utterly emasculated) every once in a while I still dream about Malawi and occasionally when looking up at rustling in the trees still half expect to see a monkey instead of a squirrel.

        Stay well all,
        Liz
        Madame Kondomu, Once Upon  Time


        On 3/24/07 11:33 AM, "Daniel Dudley" <papadud@...> wrote:


         
         

        I just returned from Malawi yesterday where my wife and I took 10 students and 1 documentary film maker.  In short, it was a great trip, the students were wonderful, and it was great to be back in Malawi.  I was surprised with how quickly I fit into the pace of life in Malawi.  I didn't miss checking my email, TV or any of the other hundreds of distractions that normally consume my day including all of the daily reminders of the war in Iraq.  It was nice to be in a place where no one seemed to know that there was such a thing going on, they had more important things to worry about.
         
        Some of the things that surprised me.  We didn't make it to too many places in Malawi, the work in the village was our priority, but we did get to do some sight seeing.  Lilongwe was really clean from what I remember of it.  The street vendors are off of the street and into the markets, you can actually walk down the sidewalk, what a concept.  Because they were not on the streets, in general I felt much safer walking down the streets.  We did however, have our cell phones attempted to be stolen out of the car we borrowed, the thief was caught, and it was pretty bloody, but there was a police man on the scene that limited the damage.    Most of his problems came from trying to get over a wall with glass on the top.  The police presence around the city was much more visible, on the way to the airport, there seemed to be 4 police on nearly every corner of Kamuzu Procession.  The place that I felt least safe was in the bus depot area.  The mini bus population has exploded, they just seem to be everywhere, and the people around the bus stage seemed to be more aggresisve that I remember.  The car population in general seemed to explode, there seemed to be many more cars on the road than I remember.
         
        I remember when I went to Zimbabwe in 96, after being in Malawi, I realized some of the things that I missed like the occasional fast food, decent pastry, good pizza, etc.  It just seemed that Lilongwe didn't have any of that.  Now it does have some of what Zimbabwe had.  At the top of the hill leading out of old-town, right near the Mchinji roundabout there is a shopping center with all of the above and more, across the street is an internet cafe.  Down the hill near the Nico plaza where there was a hyperstore, there is another shopping plaza with a shoprite grocery store and Nandos.  PTC is now called "Peoples", the Kandodo doesn't exist any more.  There are a lot more Asian shops, but I would like to say something about the Asian population.  I remember when I was there, we had a pretty negative view of the Asians, I am sure that they like their profits as much as ever, but they were the most helpful in giving us big discounts on all of the supplies that I needed.  When they heard that something was for a school or health clinic, they often donated supplies for us to use.  At the health clinic in the village, we looked through the maternity ward and the beds were completely unbearable for someone healthy, let alone someone about to give birth.  We decided to see what we could do to fix that, I went to one Asian shop and he gave us 12 6-inch mattresses for only MK100 profit, I was amazed.
         
        I would like to say something about the villagers.  I think that I remember that a lot of us were frustrated by Malawians expecting us to do everything and they participate very little.  This village was quite different.  I thought that we would be painting the classrooms by our selves, but villagers showed up from all over to help out, we provided the cement to re-plaster the walls, women brought piles of sand in from all over before school started and the villagers did the work of plastering the walls.  I was truly amazed and inspired by all of the help of the community, and I think that they really appreciated that we are a small school in Arizona, not some huge NGO with lots of money.  
         
        I was also really impressed with our students, I had to drag them out of the village, we were there for 5 days and completed everything that I hoped to but they wanted to stay longer.  They were happy with beans and nsima, and rice phala for breakfast.  They all slept on the floor of Gertrude's uncle's very small living room and never complained, in fact they seemed to enjoy it.  Some girls were particularly tasty for mosquitoes, but even they didn't complain.  On a couple of mornings they had to get up early to get to the school to paint before the students arrived so that they didn't interrupt their classes.  They were up, out, finished and back before breakfast was served, and then straight back to work on another project.  A couple of them said that they were going to join the Peace Corps after college as a result of being on this trip.
         
        All in all, the trip was a huge success, and it was so nice to be in Malawi again.
         
        Dan
         


        It’s tax season, make sure to follow these few simple tips  Check it out! <http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Taxes/PreparationTips/PreparationTips.aspx?icid=WLMartagline>
         
            

      • David Binkowski
        Dan, Your story came as a breath of fresh air! Congratulations on your successful trip and thanks for taking on such a project. When will the documentary be
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 24, 2007
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          Dan,

          Your story came as a breath of fresh air!  Congratulations on your successful trip and thanks for taking on such a project.  When will the documentary be available for us to see?  Thanks again for sharing.

          David Binkowski




           

          From: Daniel Dudley <papadud@...>
          Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
          To: ujeni ujeni <ujeni@yahoogroups.com>, chidyamakanda chidyamakanda<chidyamakanda@yahoogroups.com>
          Subject: [ujeni] Our trip to Malawi
          Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2007 09:33:36 -0600

          I just returned from Malawi yesterday where my wife and I took 10 students and 1 documentary film maker.  In short, it was a great trip, the students were wonderful, and it was great to be back in Malawi.  I was surprised with how quickly I fit into the pace of life in Malawi.  I didn't miss checking my email, TV or any of the other hundreds of distractions that normally consume my day including all of the daily reminders of the war in Iraq.  It was nice to be in a place where no one seemed to know that there was such a thing going on, they had more important things to worry about.
           
          Some of the things that surprised me.  We didn't make it to too many places in Malawi, the work in the village was our priority, but we did get to do some sight seeing.  Lilongwe was really clean from what I remember of it.  The street vendors are off of the street and into the markets, you can actually walk down the sidewalk, what a concept.  Because they were not on the streets, in general I felt much safer walking down the streets.  We did however, have our cell phones attempted to be stolen out of the car we borrowed, the thief was caught, and it was pretty bloody, but there was a police man on the scene that limited the damage.    Most of his problems came from trying to get over a wall with glass on the top.  The police presence around the city was much more visible, on the way to the airport, there seemed to be 4 police on nearly every corner of Kamuzu Procession.  The place that I felt least safe was in the bus depot area.  The mini bus population has exploded, they just seem to be everywhere, and the people around the bus stage seemed to be more aggresisve that I remember.  The car population in general seemed to explode, there seemed to be many more cars on the road than I remember.
           
          I remember when I went to Zimbabwe in 96, after being in Malawi, I realized some of the things that I missed like the occasional fast food, decent pastry, good pizza, etc.  It just seemed that Lilongwe didn't have any of that.  Now it does have some of what Zimbabwe had.  At the top of the hill leading out of old-town, right near the Mchinji roundabout there is a shopping center with all of the above and more, across the street is an internet cafe.  Down the hill near the Nico plaza where there was a hyperstore, there is another shopping plaza with a shoprite grocery store and Nandos.  PTC is now called "Peoples", the Kandodo doesn't exist any more.  There are a lot more Asian shops, but I would like to say something about the Asian population.  I remember when I was there, we had a pretty negative view of the Asians, I am sure that they like their profits as much as ever, but they were the most helpful in giving us big discounts on all of the supplies that I needed.  When they heard that something was for a school or health clinic, they often donated supplies for us to use.  At the health clinic in the village, we looked through the maternity ward and the beds were completely unbearable for someone healthy, let alone someone about to give birth.  We decided to see what we could do to fix that, I went to one Asian shop and he gave us 12 6-inch mattresses for only MK100 profit, I was amazed.
           
          I would like to say something about the villagers.  I think that I remember that a lot of us were frustrated by Malawians expecting us to do everything and they participate very little.  This village was quite different.  I thought that we would be painting the classrooms by our selves, but villagers showed up from all over to help out, we provided the cement to re-plaster the walls, women brought piles of sand in from all over before school started and the villagers did the work of plastering the walls.  I was truly amazed and inspired by all of the help of the community, and I think that they really appreciated that we are a small school in Arizona, not some huge NGO with lots of money. 
           
          I was also really impressed with our students, I had to drag them out of the village, we were there for 5 days and completed everything that I hoped to but they wanted to stay longer.  They were happy with beans and nsima, and rice phala for breakfast.  They all slept on the floor of Gertrude's uncle's very small living room and never complained, in fact they seemed to enjoy it.  Some girls were particularly tasty for mosquitoes, but even they didn't complain.  On a couple of mornings they had to get up early to get to the school to paint before the students arrived so that they didn't interrupt their classes.  They were up, out, finished and back before breakfast was served, and then straight back to work on another project.  A couple of them said that they were going to join the Peace Corps after college as a result of being on this trip.
           
          All in all, the trip was a huge success, and it was so nice to be in Malawi again. 
           
          Dan
           


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        • Daniel Dudley
          I m not exactly sure when the film will be out, the guy expects to have it mostly done in by the summer. Sedona has a film festival in the Fall, and he was
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 25, 2007
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            I'm not exactly sure when the film will be out, the guy expects to have it mostly done in by the summer.  Sedona has a film festival in the Fall, and he was thinking that would be a good time to try to debut it.  I will let ujeni know more when I know more.
             
            Dan





            To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
            From: d_bink@...
            Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2007 00:57:44 +0000
            Subject: RE: [ujeni] Our trip to Malawi

            Dan,
            Your story came as a breath of fresh air!  Congratulations on your successful trip and thanks for taking on such a project.  When will the documentary be available for us to see?  Thanks again for sharing.
            David Binkowski





             

            From: Daniel Dudley <papadud@...>
            Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
            To: ujeni ujeni <ujeni@yahoogroups.com>, chidyamakanda chidyamakanda<chidyamakanda@yahoogroups.com>
            Subject: [ujeni] Our trip to Malawi
            Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2007 09:33:36 -0600

            I just returned from Malawi yesterday where my wife and I took 10 students and 1 documentary film maker.  In short, it was a great trip, the students were wonderful, and it was great to be back in Malawi.  I was surprised with how quickly I fit into the pace of life in Malawi.  I didn't miss checking my email, TV or any of the other hundreds of distractions that normally consume my day including all of the daily reminders of the war in Iraq.  It was nice to be in a place where no one seemed to know that there was such a thing going on, they had more important things to worry about.
             
            Some of the things that surprised me.  We didn't make it to too many places in Malawi, the work in the village was our priority, but we did get to do some sight seeing.  Lilongwe was really clean from what I remember of it.  The street vendors are off of the street and into the markets, you can actually walk down the sidewalk, what a concept.  Because they were not on the streets, in general I felt much safer walking down the streets.  We did however, have our cell phones attempted to be stolen out of the car we borrowed, the thief was caught, and it was pretty bloody, but there was a police man on the scene that limited the damage.    Most of his problems came from trying to get over a wall with glass on the top.  The police presence around the city was much more visible, on the way to the airport, there seemed to be 4 police on nearly every corner of Kamuzu Procession.  The place that I felt least safe was in the bus depot area.  The mini bus population has exploded, they just seem to be everywhere, and the people around the bus stage seemed to be more aggresisve that I remember.  The car population in general seemed to explode, there seemed to be many more cars on the road than I remember.
             
            I remember when I went to Zimbabwe in 96, after being in Malawi, I realized some of the things that I missed like the occasional fast food, decent pastry, good pizza, etc.  It just seemed that Lilongwe didn't have any of that.  Now it does have some of what Zimbabwe had.  At the top of the hill leading out of old-town, right near the Mchinji roundabout there is a shopping center with all of the above and more, across the street is an internet cafe.  Down the hill near the Nico plaza where there was a hyperstore, there is another shopping plaza with a shoprite grocery store and Nandos.  PTC is now called "Peoples", the Kandodo doesn't exist any more.  There are a lot more Asian shops, but I would like to say something about the Asian population.  I remember when I was there, we had a pretty negative view of the Asians, I am sure that they like their profits as much as ever, but they were the most helpful in giving us big discounts on all of the supplies that I needed.  When they heard that something was for a school or health clinic, they often donated supplies for us to use.  At the health clinic in the village, we looked through the maternity ward and the beds were completely unbearable for someone healthy, let alone someone about to give birth.  We decided to see what we could do to fix that, I went to one Asian shop and he gave us 12 6-inch mattresses for only MK100 profit, I was amazed.
             
            I would like to say something about the villagers.  I think that I remember that a lot of us were frustrated by Malawians expecting us to do everything and they participate very little.  This village was quite different.  I thought that we would be painting the classrooms by our selves, but villagers showed up from all over to help out, we provided the cement to re-plaster the walls, women brought piles of sand in from all over before school started and the villagers did the work of plastering the walls.  I was truly amazed and inspired by all of the help of the community, and I think that they really appreciated that we are a small school in Arizona, not some huge NGO with lots of money. 
             
            I was also really impressed with our students, I had to drag them out of the village, we were there for 5 days and completed everything that I hoped to but they wanted to stay longer.  They were happy with beans and nsima, and rice phala for breakfast.  They all slept on the floor of Gertrude's uncle's very small living room and never complained, in fact they seemed to enjoy it.  Some girls were particularly tasty for mosquitoes, but even they didn't complain.  On a couple of mornings they had to get up early to get to the school to paint before the students arrived so that they didn't interrupt their classes.  They were up, out, finished and back before breakfast was served, and then straight back to work on another project.  A couple of them said that they were going to join the Peace Corps after college as a result of being on this trip.
             
            All in all, the trip was a huge success, and it was so nice to be in Malawi again. 
             
            Dan
             


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          • Don and Cathy Weber
            Greetings Dan and Gertrude, Thank you for posting this. It s neat to hear about American teenagers, who are put in a situation where something rather big is
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 25, 2007
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              Greetings Dan and Gertrude,
               
              Thank you for posting this.  It's neat to hear about American teenagers, who are put in a situation where something rather big is expected of them.  Kids are good aren't they?  They seem to enjoy being able to meet those expectations and are proud of themselves when they do.  Great that you did the trip and gave them the opportunity!  
               
              Sorry to hear about the buses and depot.  That was what scared us on our trip back.  Nice to hear about the Asians; we've held a definite...if not prejudice.....big grudge (well probably prejudice).
               
              Love to you and the kids,
               
              Cathy
               
              P.S.  So glad you posted on the "ujeni".  We've enjoyed hearing from others again. 
               
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Saturday, March 24, 2007 7:33 AM
              Subject: [ujeni] Our trip to Malawi

              I just returned from Malawi yesterday where my wife and I took 10 students and 1 documentary film maker.  In short, it was a great trip, the students were wonderful, and it was great to be back in Malawi.  I was surprised with how quickly I fit into the pace of life in Malawi.  I didn't miss checking my email, TV or any of the other hundreds of distractions that normally consume my day including all of the daily reminders of the war in Iraq.  It was nice to be in a place where no one seemed to know that there was such a thing going on, they had more important things to worry about.
               
              Some of the things that surprised me.  We didn't make it to too many places in Malawi, the work in the village was our priority, but we did get to do some sight seeing.  Lilongwe was really clean from what I remember of it.  The street vendors are off of the street and into the markets, you can actually walk down the sidewalk, what a concept.  Because they were not on the streets, in general I felt much safer walking down the streets.  We did however, have our cell phones attempted to be stolen out of the car we borrowed, the thief was caught, and it was pretty bloody, but there was a police man on the scene that limited the damage.    Most of his problems came from trying to get over a wall with glass on the top.  The police presence around the city was much more visible, on the way to the airport, there seemed to be 4 police on nearly every corner of Kamuzu Procession.  The place that I felt least safe was in the bus depot area.  The mini bus population has exploded, they just seem to be everywhere, and the people around the bus stage seemed to be more aggresisve that I remember.  The car population in general seemed to explode, there seemed to be many more cars on the road than I remember.
               
              I remember when I went to Zimbabwe in 96, after being in Malawi, I realized some of the things that I missed like the occasional fast food, decent pastry, good pizza, etc.  It just seemed that Lilongwe didn't have any of that.  Now it does have some of what Zimbabwe had.  At the top of the hill leading out of old-town, right near the Mchinji roundabout there is a shopping center with all of the above and more, across the street is an internet cafe.  Down the hill near the Nico plaza where there was a hyperstore, there is another shopping plaza with a shoprite grocery store and Nandos.  PTC is now called "Peoples", the Kandodo doesn't exist any more.  There are a lot more Asian shops, but I would like to say something about the Asian population.  I remember when I was there, we had a pretty negative view of the Asians, I am sure that they like their profits as much as ever, but they were the most helpful in giving us big discounts on all of the supplies that I needed.  When they heard that something was for a school or health clinic, they often donated supplies for us to use.  At the health clinic in the village, we looked through the maternity ward and the beds were completely unbearable for someone healthy, let alone someone about to give birth.  We decided to see what we could do to fix that, I went to one Asian shop and he gave us 12 6-inch mattresses for only MK100 profit, I was amazed.
               
              I would like to say something about the villagers.  I think that I remember that a lot of us were frustrated by Malawians expecting us to do everything and they participate very little.  This village was quite different.  I thought that we would be painting the classrooms by our selves, but villagers showed up from all over to help out, we provided the cement to re-plaster the walls, women brought piles of sand in from all over before school started and the villagers did the work of plastering the walls.  I was truly amazed and inspired by all of the help of the community, and I think that they really appreciated that we are a small school in Arizona, not some huge NGO with lots of money. 
               
              I was also really impressed with our students, I had to drag them out of the village, we were there for 5 days and completed everything that I hoped to but they wanted to stay longer.  They were happy with beans and nsima, and rice phala for breakfast.  They all slept on the floor of Gertrude's uncle's very small living room and never complained, in fact they seemed to enjoy it.  Some girls were particularly tasty for mosquitoes, but even they didn't complain.  On a couple of mornings they had to get up early to get to the school to paint before the students arrived so that they didn't interrupt their classes.  They were up, out, finished and back before breakfast was served, and then straight back to work on another project.  A couple of them said that they were going to join the Peace Corps after college as a result of being on this trip.
               
              All in all, the trip was a huge success, and it was so nice to be in Malawi again. 
               
              Dan
               


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            • Jason Booker
              Hello Dan- Thanks for posting your trip update. It was great to read about your positive experiences in Malawi. Congratulations on giving the kids an
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 25, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                Hello Dan-

                Thanks for posting your trip update. It was great to read about your
                positive experiences in Malawi. Congratulations on giving the kids an
                authentic experience--one I am sure they won't soon forget.

                I am hoping to get to Malawi next year. My family and I are packing up in
                July and moving to Maputo, Mozambique. We'll be at the international school
                there. I've written to several students and colleagues from the Malawi
                days--hopefully I'll hear back and get to see them sometime in the near
                future.

                Thanks again.

                Jason


                >From: Daniel Dudley <papadud@...>
                >Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
                >To: ujeni ujeni <ujeni@yahoogroups.com>, chidyamakanda
                >chidyamakanda<chidyamakanda@yahoogroups.com>
                >Subject: [ujeni] Our trip to Malawi
                >Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2007 09:33:36 -0600
                >
                >I just returned from Malawi yesterday where my wife and I took 10 students
                >and 1 documentary film maker. In short, it was a great trip, the students
                >were wonderful, and it was great to be back in Malawi. I was surprised
                >with how quickly I fit into the pace of life in Malawi. I didn't miss
                >checking my email, TV or any of the other hundreds of distractions that
                >normally consume my day including all of the daily reminders of the war in
                >Iraq. It was nice to be in a place where no one seemed to know that there
                >was such a thing going on, they had more important things to worry about.
                >
                >Some of the things that surprised me. We didn't make it to too many places
                >in Malawi, the work in the village was our priority, but we did get to do
                >some sight seeing. Lilongwe was really clean from what I remember of it.
                >The street vendors are off of the street and into the markets, you can
                >actually walk down the sidewalk, what a concept. Because they were not on
                >the streets, in general I felt much safer walking down the streets. We did
                >however, have our cell phones attempted to be stolen out of the car we
                >borrowed, the thief was caught, and it was pretty bloody, but there was a
                >police man on the scene that limited the damage. Most of his problems
                >came from trying to get over a wall with glass on the top. The police
                >presence around the city was much more visible, on the way to the airport,
                >there seemed to be 4 police on nearly every corner of Kamuzu Procession.
                >The place that I felt least safe was in the bus depot area. The mini bus
                >population has exploded, they just seem to be everywhere, and the people
                >around the bus stage seemed to be more aggresisve that I remember. The car
                >population in general seemed to explode, there seemed to be many more cars
                >on the road than I remember.
                >
                >I remember when I went to Zimbabwe in 96, after being in Malawi, I realized
                >some of the things that I missed like the occasional fast food, decent
                >pastry, good pizza, etc. It just seemed that Lilongwe didn't have any of
                >that. Now it does have some of what Zimbabwe had. At the top of the hill
                >leading out of old-town, right near the Mchinji roundabout there is a
                >shopping center with all of the above and more, across the street is an
                >internet cafe. Down the hill near the Nico plaza where there was a
                >hyperstore, there is another shopping plaza with a shoprite grocery store
                >and Nandos. PTC is now called "Peoples", the Kandodo doesn't exist any
                >more. There are a lot more Asian shops, but I would like to say something
                >about the Asian population. I remember when I was there, we had a pretty
                >negative view of the Asians, I am sure that they like their profits as much
                >as ever, but they were the most helpful in giving us big discounts on all
                >of the supplies that I needed. When they heard that something was for a
                >school or health clinic, they often donated supplies for us to use. At the
                >health clinic in the village, we looked through the maternity ward and the
                >beds were completely unbearable for someone healthy, let alone someone
                >about to give birth. We decided to see what we could do to fix that, I
                >went to one Asian shop and he gave us 12 6-inch mattresses for only MK100
                >profit, I was amazed.
                >
                >I would like to say something about the villagers. I think that I remember
                >that a lot of us were frustrated by Malawians expecting us to do everything
                >and they participate very little. This village was quite different. I
                >thought that we would be painting the classrooms by our selves, but
                >villagers showed up from all over to help out, we provided the cement to
                >re-plaster the walls, women brought piles of sand in from all over before
                >school started and the villagers did the work of plastering the walls. I
                >was truly amazed and inspired by all of the help of the community, and I
                >think that they really appreciated that we are a small school in Arizona,
                >not some huge NGO with lots of money.
                >
                >I was also really impressed with our students, I had to drag them out of
                >the village, we were there for 5 days and completed everything that I hoped
                >to but they wanted to stay longer. They were happy with beans and nsima,
                >and rice phala for breakfast. They all slept on the floor of Gertrude's
                >uncle's very small living room and never complained, in fact they seemed to
                >enjoy it. Some girls were particularly tasty for mosquitoes, but even they
                >didn't complain. On a couple of mornings they had to get up early to get
                >to the school to paint before the students arrived so that they didn't
                >interrupt their classes. They were up, out, finished and back before
                >breakfast was served, and then straight back to work on another project. A
                >couple of them said that they were going to join the Peace Corps after
                >college as a result of being on this trip.
                >
                >All in all, the trip was a huge success, and it was so nice to be in Malawi
                >again.
                >
                >Dan
                >
                >_________________________________________________________________
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              • Vyrle Owens
                26 March 2007 Dear Dan, I very much enjoyed reading the report of your trip to Malawi. Excellent update. Thanks, Vyrle ... From: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 26, 2007
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                  26 March 2007

                   

                  Dear Dan,

                   

                  I very much enjoyed reading the report of your trip to

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